The Power of the “Shock Drop”

Sold Out. The two words that any sneaker head dreads seeing when trying to buy the newest sneaker. Seeing the notification pop up, knowing you’re in line to purchase it, only to see it sell out seconds later is a sneakerhead’s worst nightmare. With companies wanting to maximize profits, Nike and Jordan continue to prove that less can sometimes be way more for a hot sneaker release.

Last night, Travis Scott, arguably the hottest artist in the world, performed at the Grammy’s, wearing one of his latest Air Jordan collaborations. Back in June of last year, Scott has his first collaboration with the brand, the Air Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack.” Some sneaker websites and blogs dubbed it the Sneaker of the Year, for its nod to the Houston Oilers.

When word started to surface that another collaboration was in the works, social media started to buzz. As recently as last week, the shoe in question, the Air Jordan I “Cactus Jack” got an official release date, April 26th. Some fans, however, speculated the shoe might drop via a “shock drop” during his Super Bowl LIII performance, meaning that a portion of the stock would release early via the Nike SNKRS app.

While that never happened, fans held out hope something might happen during his Grammy performance. Sure enough, it did. Fans started to flock to the app in hopes to purchase them. As soon as fans logged on to the app, they were treated to the dreaded SOLD OUT screen. Some people speculated only 250 of the rumored 36,000 pairs were released last night, but why? One word. HYPE.

Jordan took advantage of arguably their biggest influencer performing at one of the biggest awards shows of the year, to generate even more hype for a shoe that isn’t expected to release for another two months. And with a rumored five more shoes scheduled to release this year from Scott and Jordan; the hype for this collection will continue to grow, bringing more awareness to the brand.

We’ve already seen this type of release happen once this year with the Air Jordan XI “Infrared.” With the shoe officially releasing this Saturday; it got a surprise drop on February 1st. 100’s of people were able to purchase a pair early. While the shoe will not be as limited at the Cactus Jack line, the early pairs sneaker heads are posting on social media only fuels the hype even more for those who missed out. People want what they can’t have, and Nike and Jordan have mastered this marketing tactic perfectly to get people to talk about their brand.

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